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Laura Kessel is managing editor of The News-Herald in Willoughby. She writes a weekly column and shares her thoughts here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A new season of 'Armageddon'

I have to forgive my husband.

He’s a west-sider. He doesn’t understand the east-side ways.

He hasn’t learned that, when it comes to roads, you shouldn’t say that you wish they’d just fix them.

As history has shown, that’s a bad idea.

Sure, we get smoother surfaces, free of pits and holes that jar your jaw as you travel.

But the process — oh, the process.

For the past two years, I’ve used only one word to describe the area roadwork situation.


How else do you describe the state Route 2 widening project that has caused the Lost Nation exit ramps to close so many times?

I pity the people who live along that stretch — including the owner of a recent Dream House.

Some dream! For, oh, about a year, you have to find an alternate route to get home every day.

When we bought our home in Euclid eight years ago, we knew the road surface was bad.

I griped some, but knew the fix would be a painful process.

And, about 18 months ago, it started.

Armageddon, at home. Included was about two months in which we couldn’t park on our property.

Now that it’s finished, though, I get to enjoy no-trip sidewalks and a pothole-free street.

A couple months ago, we learned which Euclid streets were on the list for repairs this year. Two are on my route to work every day.

Of course, my husband was thrilled. And pretty much every time the west-sider and I drive together, he asks when the project will begin.

"Haven’t you learned by now that you shouldn’t ask those questions? Especially because you know what it’ll be like!"

He says it’s not a big deal.

I say, "Armageddon!"

And, it started on Monday.

On the way to work, I headed east, to the street where I normally turn right to head south. No-go.

It’s closed to through traffic because the complete rebuild has begun.

It was nice knowing you, Lloyd Road. I’ll see you sometime in winter. Hopefully you’ll be beautiful and resurfaced by then.

But, if you’re anything like my street, it might be another six months after that.

Also on the list of repairs is Lake Shore Boulevard, from the Cleveland border to the Lake County line.

I can avoid that one most of the time.

But, I can’t help but remember the last time it was resurfaced, in the late 1990s, when it sat, waiting for the asphalt to be poured, with its manhole covers standing a good 8 inches above the surface of the road. It was like an obstacle course as you drove along, weaving in and out to avoid driving over them.

"It’s not a big deal."

"You haven’t ever dealt with it before, West-sider."

I guess I should be used to all this by now. It’s Ohio, where orange barrels are the state pet.

But when every turn you make is a roadway lined with those round evil-doers, it’s difficult to adjust.

At least I know what’s coming, though.

My poor husband doesn’t have a clue.

Twitter: @lauranh


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